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Responding to the Oncoming Glacier, Restoring a Sustainable Economy

“But with the slow menace of a glacier, depression came on. No one had any measure of its progress; no one had any plan for stopping it. Everyone tried to get out of its way.” These are the words of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor. She took plans to stop it as the “Woman Behind the New Deal.” She led the efforts toward a social security system, new industrial relations and minimum wage laws, and an end to child labor. The New Deal ushered in a changed relationship between the people, states, and their federal government, launching public works programs that put millions of Americans back to work to restore the country’s economy. In this edition of the Expresso, we look at an innov

Denmark’s Idea Could Help the World Avoid a Great Depression “We are freezing the economy.”

While the White House and lawmakers haggle over the terms of an emergency economic-stabilization package, Denmark has gone big—very, very big—to defeat the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus. This week, the Danish government told private companies hit by the effects of the pandemic that it would pay 75 percent of their employees’ salaries to avoid mass layoffs. The plan could require the government to spend as much as 13 percent of the national economy in three months. That is roughly the equivalent of a $2.5 trillion stimulus in the United States spread out over just 13 weeks. Like I said: very, very big. This response might strike some as a catastrophically ruinous overreaction. Pe

Our Corona Response’s Missing Ingredient – Mobilize The Supply Side!

Modern economics developed out of pre-modern political economy, and much that is valuable in the former is a legacy of the latter. One of the most valuable – if not indeed the most valuable – of contributions made by the late 18th century political economists was their highlighting what are today often called productive ‘synergies.’ Most people who cite Adam Smith in the modern era cite him for the ‘invisible hand’ trope – the idea that there is sometimes an implicit rational order imminent in what might look on the surface to be unplanned interactive behavior among market participants. That idea is often misused by people less clever than Smith in ways that would have scandalized the master

This Stimulus Bill Will Not Save the Economy From Collapse Let’s not repeat the slow and timid respo

When the stock market crashed in 1929, the Dow plummeted from its September peak of 381.17 to a low of 41.22 in July 1932. Because so few Americans owned stocks, it took three years for the financial collapse to cycle though the rest of the economy. Unemployment only gradually increased, to a peak of about 25 percent in early 1933. Gross domestic product fell steadily, ultimately declining by about 30 percent. The economic crash caused by the coronavirus, if anything, will be sharper and steeper. If we set out to deliberately destroy an economy, requesting most people to stay home is a very effective way. The virus itself is disrupting production, but the necessary public health response to

9 charts show why the economy is in such a scary spot

The coronavirus crisis is about to blow up a cascade of U.S. economic charts. If the latest projections are even close to correct, the U.S. economy will see numbers so big and bad in coming months that we’ll be forced to stretch the vertical scale on charts to fit them. The highs and lows of the past decade, which seemed so critical at the time, will recede into relative flatness, dwarfed by the moves of 2020. Here are nine that, taken together, show how we’re entering difficult territory. Economic growth Every day brings ever more dire forecasts. In the latest, Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius and his colleagues revealed they expect the bottom to drop out of the U.S. economy in the secon

OpEd column: Women on boards — it’s the fiduciary thing to do!

As a board member for the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and also the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), I can tell you that recruiting women to serve on corporate boards is not only just, it is the fiduciary thing to do. CalPERS and CalSTRS have long been part of efforts to improve diversity on corporate boards, including the founding of their own data base and being part of investor coalitions like the Thirty Percent Coalition, whose mission is to promote gender diversity, including women of color, on corporate boards. Research has shown that there is a compelling correlation between board diversity and company performance and shareholder value

A Push To Get More Women On Corporate Boards Gains Momentum

When Silicon Valley-based Adesto Technologies invited Susan Uthayakumar to join its all-male board last year, she had no idea California had just passed a gender quota. She's the country president and CEO of Schneider Electric Canada, where she's spent the last several years working in IoT, or the Internet of things, which powers devices like smart speakers and Internet-connected doorbells. "The reason I was brought on board to the Adesto board is because I had the IoT experience. That background is there for me, so I'm actually being asked to give my voice quite a bit," Uthayakumar said. "The board is very welcoming." Lately, a lot of accomplished female executives have gotten similar calls

California’s women-on-boards quota worked — well, mostly Despite the new law, 27 public companies st

Despite the new law, 27 public companies still had all-male boards at the end of 2019. Silicon Valley benefits administrator WageWorks announced on April 9, 2019, that Carol Goode, a 35-year HR veteran, would join its all-male board of directors. Two days later, TiVo added tech finance executive Laura Durr and IP specialist Loria Yeadon to its board. Others followed with female board additions: gunshot-tracking company Shotspotter in late April, insurance software provider Guidewire in September and biopharmaceutical company Nektar Therapeutics in December, among others. All told, 126 California public companies added 138 women to their previously all-male boards last year, ahead of a Dec. 3

Momentum Builds For More Women On Boards

For the first time in history, all-male boards of directors are going the way of the buggywhip, as more and more companies not only sit women on their boards but continue to increase their number. Before breaking out the champagne, bear in mind that it has taken years and years for women to sit alongside men in their boardroom oversight of companies. Even today, women make up 47% of the working population, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, but they represent only 27% of board positions of S&P 500 companies, according to data from ISS Analytics as reported by the Washington Post. While progress has been steady for women and people of color to become directors, most boards remain popu

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